News & Brews June 22, 2023

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Judge rejects post-trial relief motion in education funding lawsuit

Yesterday, Commonwealth Court President Judge Renée Cohn Jubelirer rejected a motion for post-trial relief in the landmark school funding lawsuit. The motion, filed in February by Senate President Pro Tempore Kim Ward and Republican House Leader Bryan Cutler, said Judge Jubelirer’s original ruling contained errors. In her ruling yesterday, Judge Jubelirer wrote that Gov. Shapiro and lawmakers should move forward with “delivering a system of public education that the Pennsylvania Constitution requires — one that provides for every student to receive a meaningful opportunity to succeed academically, socially, and civically, which requires that all students have access to a comprehensive, effective, and contemporary system of public education.”

Lawmakers announce affiliation with Forward Party

Yesterday, four state lawmaker—two Republicans and two Democrats—announced they will affiliate with the new Forward Party, while technically maintaining their original party allegiance. They are Democrat Sens. Lisa Boscola (Lehigh and Northampton counties) and Anthony Williams (Delaware and Philadelphia counties) and Republican Reps. Valerie Gaydos (Allegheny County) and Marla Brown (Lawrence County). The Forward Party, founded by failed presidential and New York City mayoral candidate Andrew Yang, “allows members to stay with their traditional parties while working toward its stated goals of bipartisanship, voting reform, nonpartisan primaries and independent redistricting commissions,” PennLive reports.

Senate committee looks to loosen marijuana laws

The Senate Law and Justice Committee advanced legislation yesterday that would “liberalize the state’s 5-year-old medical marijuana program by expanding the scope of who can buy it and allowing it to be sold in edible form,” the AP reports. The legislation, which advanced with bipartisan support, now heads to the full Senate for consideration.

Op-Ed: ‘The evidence on charter schools is in’

Mark Gleason—partner at The Drexel Fund, an education non-profit—writes in the Philadelphia Citizen that a new study shows that “[p]ublic charter schools work, and they work best for historically disadvantaged students: those who are Black or Hispanic and/or from low-income households.” Notably, the study, which follows previous studies in 2009 and 2013, “suggests that charter schools, which first burst on the scene in the late 1990s, have steadily improved with age.” Gleason notes that cyber charters did not show the same progress as brick-and-mortar charters. He looks specifically at Philadelphia’s charter landscape and encourages the city to “elevat[e] the role of charters in its educational strategy.”

Ramaswamy comes to Philly

The Inquirer reports on GOP presidential candidate Vivek (pronounced “like cake”) Ramaswamy’s visit to Philly this past Tuesday. “The real division in the country,” said Ramaswamy—who is the son of Indian immigrants—“is those of us who are pro-American, who stand for the values of this country, the ideals we were founded on, and who refuse to apologize for those ideals, and those in the country who wish to apologize for a nation founded on those principles.”


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